Things you find on the side of the road
With an all-Sydneysider cast, morning coffees weren’t so much a priority as a slot on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs - alongside food, water, and just above oxygen. This placed tremendous pressure on the shaky hands of the AeroPress (or similar) operator, who only had to look over his or her shoulder to find a queuing Bruce Banner threatening to turn a rather nasty shade of green if they didn’t shortly get their fix...
Rolling out, we continued another time-honoured Over Yonder tradition; finding weird s*** on the side of the road. We take the use of expletives rather seriously here (catering to our all-important 4-9yo demo), but there really is no other way to properly convey just how strange, and random, some of the stuff we find is.
Today it was a huge emu head, lovingly forged from palm fronds. You could place an offering of a coconut (or similar item of value) to the indigenous deity in a similarly-sculpted collection hammock nearby. It reminded us of K.J. Sperring’s promotional weapons of mass distraction, which we had previously scratched our heads at while exploring the Mudawangs.
Thankfully, the only other thing we found on the side of this road was the beach.
In the lead up to this adventure, we had succumbed to non-existent peer pressure and purchased a drone. However, through a combination of bush-pride thriftiness and chronically poor research, we somehow managed to build a Frankenstein of mis-matched parts. It flew OK, but took terrible photos. We named it Droney Abbott (after the then PM of Australia).
We flew Droney at Bloomfield Falls, a magnificent cascading waterfall on the Bloomfield River, near Wujal Wujal. We carried him over the long rocky path (inaccessible by bike) to get to the primo spots. We were careful to keep all his gear dry. We begged him to take a decent photo. He refused.
You might notice below that not a single shot is from Droney. His image quality was as poor as his politics, and he was soon cast out onto eBay.
Delivering the mail
In all honesty, we had been warned. We knew the Bloomfield Track was steep - however, we were not prepared for it to be that steep. With gradients up to, and over, 30%, Lieutenant Dan was the first to begin delivering the mail - cutting the gradient by riding at an angle to the slope and frequently visiting both sides of the track.
Soon, everyone was doing it, we were mailmen in training.
The weakest link
Beardy’s chain snapped on the last climb, leading to a fun round of ‘who wants to be a bush mechanic?’. With so much hand-wringing and so many one-upping opinions, we almost forgot to look around at where we were; the dense, ancient rainforest that so defines the Daintree.
The descent began shortly afterwards, although Beardy clearly hadn’t quite had enough climbing for the day. An obligatory product shot later and we were riding into Cape Tribulation for beach yoga and a low-tide swim.
Finally, a shout-out to Beardy and his rat-faced coconut. Compare the pair...
Too clever by half
A quick spin around Cape Trib, and we were back out onto the open road, hunting for homemade ice cream. Instead we found an, ahem, rather interesting NT Tourism activation. OK, OK, we get it. You’re our kind of place. We can’t wait to get up there and explore the Top End.
The theme of danger lurking around every corner continued onto the Daintree River ferry crossing. The cable ferry, carrying cars, bikes, and, apparently, excessive voltage, also traversed a croc-infested river. Even the following cane fields were littered with extreme danger signs, reminding us that, in this part of the world, death is a bureaucratic imperative.
We finished the riding component of this adventure tripping through Christopher Skase’s famous Port Douglas palms, and marvelling at just how gaudy the stilted houses in these parts could be.
TYFOTSOTR, Pt. II
‘Croc’ was the call, and we all stopped. There, sitting on the bank was a big fella sunning himself in the FNQLD heat. Soon we heard sirens, and a police loudspeaker yelling at us to get off the bridge. With no traffic in either direction, we could only assume he was either a) taking his job just a little too seriously, or b) had some inside info that this one particular croc could jump extraordinary distances. Either way, it was worth it for the shot.
Our trip ended as it had commenced, in undeserved luxury at our very own slice of Del Boca Vista paradise. After some bike cleaning, we spent our last night in far north Queensland soaking up the pool bar vibes under warm, cloudless skies.
More from The Daintree
Choose from any of the two parts in our Through The Daintree adventure, or the Road Book, for all the maps & information you need to get out and explore the area yourself.
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